Thursday, September 30, 2010

COPS Office Announces $26.1 Million to Improve School Safety and Reduce Child Sexual Victimization

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has announced $26.1 million in grants intended to protect children.  The grants were awarded under the COPS Office’s Child Sexual Predator Program and their Secure Our Schools programs.

One hundred sixty seven local law enforcement agencies and municipalities in 40 states and Puerto Rico received $15.9 million in grants to fund up to 50 percent of the total cost of purchasing and installing metal detectors, locks, lighting, fencing, closed-circuit surveillance systems and other safety equipment in schools.  The Secure Our Schools program also funds things such as security assessments, security training, and other measures that will provide a significant improvement in school safety.

Additionally, $10.2 million in grants was awarded to fund partnerships between state or local government agencies and their U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshals Service offices that focus on locating, arresting, and prosecuting child sexual predators, as well as enforcing state sex offender registration laws.  The COPS Office awarded Child Sexual Predator Program grants to 24 government agencies in 18 states.

"Ensuring the safety of our youth is of critical importance, and this funding will have a meaningful impact in communities throughout the country”, said COPS Director Bernard K. Melekian.  "Communities that are receiving these grants have made a commitment to a collaborative partnership that will ultimately make a world of difference in reducing youth victimization."

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, COPS has awarded over $11.3 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,600 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring of officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products, including community policing publications, training and technical assistance.

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